Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

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mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

The show didn't seem to fit on Disney Junior after this point. There was a few episodes that did, but was always pushing that line. A cute main plot sister bonding mixed with mum being turned to stone and abandoning her daughter again type stuff.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

mrdent12 wrote: Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:32 pm The show didn't seem to fit on Disney Junior after this point. There was a few episodes that did, but was always pushing that line. A cute main plot sister bonding mixed with mum being turned to stone and abandoning her daughter again type stuff.
yeah in an interview Craig Gerber (the head writer/producer) did, he brings up the decision to shift it from Disney to Disney Jr. and how that affected them negatively. The show was meant for both the 2-5 crowd AND the 7-14 crowd, but Disney saw the show doing better with younger kids, so arbitrarily said "Okay, this is now a Disney Jr show". Craig said that on Disney Channel, you had older kids watching and you'd also get younger ones, but on the Disney Jr channel, the perception was that it was "for babies" and so now ONLY the little kids were watching.

His advice: "Always pinpoint your audience in the lead-up, or else the network will do it for you!".

Because yeah, this always felt like a show on the wrong station, especially here. Not only is it now a serialized action-adventure show at this point, but we're dealing with a main antagonist who's a literal murderer, and Elena flat-out states several times that she needs to KILL Shuriki. Even here, she says something like "I need to deal with her, once and for all".
mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

Pin pointing your audience ahead of time for most things is a good idea, not just in terms of tv shows.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

34) "Shapeshifters" So with Shuriki back, the entire kingdom is in a panic, and this sense of dread falls over everything- the Royal Guard are surrounding Elena at every moment, the Council is panicking ("What did Shuriki SAY?" is of course Esteban's concern), and Elena insists she'll find the villain herself. To which Esteban refuses to allow that, and we get the greatest/worst song in Elena history: The Right Thing To Do, in which the songwriters, clearly inspired by Hamilton, insist on having poor Aimee Carrero & Christian Lanz RAP their way through a song rapid-fire. Aimee has said this was the most stressful thing she's ever done, haha. The song is hilariously goofy and they never tried it again, but it's the best. But Esteban is seen as correct, and the entire rest of the council votes to force Elena to remain in the castle while the guards search for Shuriki and her agents- even Naomi votes against Elena!

So Mateo has finally fixed his shapeshifting potion, and this gives Elena an idea to go to Luna's birthday parter on the other side of the city. She & Mateo disguise themselves as Jaquins and convince Gabe to let them pull this off (Gabe is all "YOU KNOW WHAT THEY MEANT" about the Council's decree), and so Elena has now defied the Council, Gabe going along. Their Jaquin designs are really awesome, though- Mateo's is dark maroon with light spots, Elena's is bright red with yellow flower markings, and Gabe is all blue and the biggest of the three. No wonder that one weird fan kept begging them to make an entire season where Elena is a Jaquin the whole time.

But anyways, Elena & Mateo soon reveal their irresponsible plan is to bail on Gabe entirely and go look for Shuriki themselves. But their clumsy flying draws in Cruz, who was briefly revealed last episode. Hailed as "The Next Chief in Training", he's voiced by Mario Lopez and is friendly to all the other characters, but has a bit of "Skylar" in him- it's said he's blown off some of his training, and is heavily showing off. Chief Zephyr admonishes him for this, but shows him "Commanders Rock" to teach him the lessons of past leaders. But Cruz blows THIS off, too ("I'm not so interested past leaders- they HAD their turn. I'm focused on the FUTURE- MY future!"), to which Zephyr says "You are worse than a FOOL- you are a disappointment!" and drops him from his position. But Cruz immediately lashes out, knocking him down and trapping him in the Rock! Then he blames Elena's crew for it, which makes sense because none of the other Jaquins have ever seen them before!

Elena's crew is captured, but the "Jaquin Salute" she gives her future guardians (Migs's kids) proves her identity to them, so she escapes and springs Zephyr. The Jaquins hunt Cruz down, and in a fun bit, Elena, who has been struggling all episode with flying and cann ever pull off "sideways flight", finally masters that exact trick which slows Cruz down enough that Zephyr can tackle him and capture the guy.

This episode is kind of interesting- they only briefly showed Cruz last episode so he's not completely out of left field, but they have to introduce his characterization here. It's kind of interesting how all the Jaquins look up to him because of how cool and capable he is, and only Zephyr has the wisdom to know he's being a disappointment. And it's cool how Gabe is actually the best of the three at learning quickly, haha. Makes sense given how his job is so physical.

They wrap things up quickly, but Gabe's legitimate disappointment at Elena is really notable. Like he is SO angry that he was lied to, but more because of the betrayal of it. "You LIED to me. And you defied the Grand Council. Next time, I WILL tell them". It creates an interesting power dynamic, of a sort. Gabe has to answer to the Council, not just Elena. She technically can't give him complete orders, so she's not just his boss. But it's like the fact that they're friends is what gives his statements such impact.

Oh, and right at the very end, they realize that the pages of the Codex Maru stolen by Fiero contain information on how to find the SCEPTER OF NIGHT- a weapon equal in power to Elena's Scepter of Light. Three pieces were scattered across the realms by Alacazar (Mateo's grandfather), and now both groups are in search of them!
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

35) "The Scepter of Night" Finally details the weapon both groups are after, giving us the old standby- the Macguffin Hunt! And of course Elena's all about leaving the palace and fighting Shurki, defying the Council's orders AGAIN, lol. And also she changed from her Princess Dress to her Adventuring Gear in literally nine seconds. Another fun bit is Gabe being serious about Elena's protection while Mateo is making mad scientist faces at possibly holding the Scepter of Night! But his Magic nerd-ery goes from slapstick (Naomi swats the book into his face to get his attention and then he walks into a wall while reading) into concerning. Gabe keeps getting frustrated at Elena's aggressive tactics but finally sighs and goes along. I like how they make it clear he's not just being pushy for no reason- he's concerned because it's his job AND "as your friend". Then insists he takes the point because that's his job.

OMG, it's Migs's mate Dulce again! I was like "lol they had to add a fourth Jaquin" (since there's now four people flying them) because I didn't recognize her at first! Mateo falls a bit off the deep end, disobeying Gabe's orders and being a glory hound. "If I collect the pieces first, I could beat Shuriki myself!" He gets a pretty great song, though- I don't remember this one but it's pretty epic. As much as the song is about him wanting to be legendary and respected, lol. You can see bits of him wanting to be like his legendary Grandfather, but it's more or less openly "Hey everyone would love me!"

In any case, Mateo runs off, breaking Gabe's carefully laid plan so he can grab the Scepter... except he's wrong. Naomi figures out the riddle (the tortoise reliefs have to be on top, not the bottom, of the pyramid), but so does Carla, and both groups are after it. Wow, as soon as the gangs see each other, Fiero is at the ready and disarms Naomi, Mateo & Gabe simultaneously with the Boqato spell! Very slick. Fiero has the other villains run off to lure some of the gang away, but Mateo dives in by himself. Elena, frustrated, has to chase after him... and it turns out Fiero & Victor are tailing them! Mateo's gloryhound act irks Elena, and leads to disaster when they finally find the staff part of the Scepter and get the riddle, only for the villains to attack. After a pretty dramatic chase/fight/Macguffin Grab that swings back and forth (Victor gets a lucky shot and KOs Gabe), Mateo finally does right and saves Naomi instead of grabbing for the Scepter staff. The heroes get it anyways, leaving Mateo to apologize. Gabe is the most annoyed, but finally relents, "But still, if you were on MY squad, I'd make you drop and give me twenty!". And then Mateo's all "well, if that's what it takes..." he drops and can't even manage one, haha. The villains are defeated, but know the riddle and have new plans- Shuriki is notably impressed by Carla's insistence that they can just steal the Scepter piece from Elena when she arrives for the next bit ("There may be hope for you YET, girl").

Fun little episode- Mateo can seem like the Most Perfect Soft Boi, so it's nice to give him a bit of an edge, as he gets reckless around magic, and his self-esteem issues cause him to chase glory when he shouldn't. This also lets Gabe looks a little better, as his point of view is seen as pretty decent- he's not just an obstructionist to Elena's running about, he's a concerned FRIEND and has real reasons, since Elena needs to be protected at all costs.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

36) "Race For the Realm" Okay it's time for me to actually watch another episode, lol. Thanks to Christmas and all that I stopped mid-arc. Just like how the fans had to during a big hiatus in the show, lol. The second riddle leads the gang to Vaellestrella, but first Elena has to decide between gathering the Scepter of Night OR hiding the last piece, and chooses both. Mateo & Gabe are sent off to lock the Scepter's staff away while she & Naomi hit the next hiding place. Elena's struggles as a ruler are clearly apparent- splitting up her party to do two things at once is kinda dangerous.

Aaaaaaand now multiple things happen at once. Fiero is finally told to just make Victor & Carla Malvagos (Carla quickly explains they read the spellbook, but the writers cleverly have them butcher one spell first to indicate they aren't pros yet and this is TOUGH). Victor even drops "If your mother could see us now!". Also the nature of magic is kind of odd- Mateo has to learn magic, while Victor & Carla do that... but also have to be turned magic because of how Malvagos work? The Malvago outfits are really cool. I never actually noticed before how they all have animal themes. Snake (Fiero), Scorpion (Victor), Spider (Carla). All venomous animals.

man I do not remember the Flamingo-Giraffes the gang meets in Vaellestrella, lol. They even have some important advice, telling Elena to let go of her past so she can have a brighter future- they're kind of weirdo hippies (AND they're delaying the mission by taking the "scenic route" because "It's about the JOURNEY, not the destination") but their point about her obsession is quite apt in this situation, as we'll see. I like how the flamingos' necks "warble" when they hold a note. And then this damn George Costanza-esque Butterfrog helping them at the hiding spot becomes a recurring character and actually important to the fates of a few characters XD!

But big important stuff as Shuriki rapidly assembles her Elena Revenge Squad big-time- first Victor tells them about Troyo hiding in the woods, and he even reveals that he's been hiding out CRUZ AND VESTIA, so now the villains have Jacquins, which allows them to enter Vaellestrella! Insane how they went from her & two minions to this group of seven people in it in only a few episodes! And this justifies those 1-2 episodes spent featuring Cruz and mentioning his sister- so those aren't throwaways. They really play up how aggressive Elena's getting, too. The flamingos even try to convince her to forget the past to see a brighter future, and she sings along, but the second Shuriki shows up she splits up to go chase Shuriki (who notably HAS NO POWERS right now), and that leaves Naomi alone with Fiero (who HAS powers). And so Fiero easily blasts Naomi away and gathers both the jewel AND the holding piece, which means the villains get away. Elena's "Blaze!" spell exhausts her and she fails to hit Shuriki... who even mega-bitches it up by flying down and saying "I remember that face- it's the same one your PARENTS made when I blasted them!". Then she LAUGHS.

Watching this live at the time I was stunned- I was a bigger fan of Tangled at first but I watched that show stumble into a "Myth Arc" and Elena suddenly knocks it out of the park with his huge assemblage of bad guys from past episodes. So yeah, this is an epic one. Actually one of the biggest "Heroes Lose" episodes the show did, with the villains beating them via the heroes' mistakes (Elena splitting the party TWICE). Elena acknowledges how her obsession with killing Shuriki has blown it for the gang, and now Quita Moz flies in, telling her she needs to be taught the full powers of the Scepter of Light. To defeat Shuriki, who now has the complete Scepter of Night... AND a huge army of bad guys. Fantastic, dark episode.
mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

It's interesting how the show sets up things. Villains win episodes are fun in that they setup a big payoff if done right. If I recall, this show paid off with the arcs ending.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

mrdent12 wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:55 am It's interesting how the show sets up things. Villains win episodes are fun in that they setup a big payoff if done right. If I recall, this show paid off with the arcs ending.
YUP- big-time. PS were you following my build set in late December? I forget.
mrdent12
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:10 pm

Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

I took a look, but builds aren't my thing.
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